Gmofreefood’s Weblog

Watch Food Inc and pass it around
June 1, 2010, 9:44 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I saw the movie “Food Inc” again recently on PBS and I can not recommend it enough. This movie should be on every gift list. While the movie is rather scary during the first 2/3, the overall message is one of Hope.

Most of the movie talks about the scary state of the food industry in the US, how “processed food” sold in US supermarkets seems more and more like “food to avoid” at all costs:

  • from burger meat washed in Ammonia to remove e-Coli germs (yes yes you read right),
  • to corn being produced so cheaply to force feed the cattle industry that it is now being used in virtually 90% of all processed food in the US,
  • not to forget Monsanto’s grip on the seed industry, the way they bully farmers into settling patent suits against them because they can not afford to pay legal fees and the way most of today’s top executives leading the FDA, USDA or EPA are former Monsanto employees (which seems surreal…)

This does not make for a very reassuring story.

However there are great messages of Hope:

from WallMart (yes WallMart) getting on the Organic Bandwagon by now selling Stoneyfield products in their stores to the increase demand for locally grown products, the clear message is that salvation will come in the form of the consumers (aka us !!!) voting with their wallets:

it has become clear that appealing to the large food companies to produce better quality food without Genetically modified ingredients for example will never lead to any results. The power of their lobbyists is so strong that consumers should not expect any miracles coming from their elected officials either (one example: Obama and his Organic garden naming Monsanto’s former VP of Public Policy as Senoir Advisor to the FDA….)

The only way consumers will make their voices heard will be by no longer buying their products. In the movie, a WallMart buyer says it clearly: “we made the decision to offer Stoneyfield’s products because consumers wanted it”. The overnight impact for organic milk producers was incredible!

There is a great analogy in the movie about how the food industry is like the tobacco industry 30 years ago: for the longest time the powerful tobacco lobby was able to sell its products without facing any consequences and by denying the health impact of their products. Eventually consumers got the politics to get their act together and change the laws to make them accountable. There is hope that we might be able to do the same with this oh-so essential food industry.

Watch the movie; buy it for a friend; pass it around. You can even watch the movie for free on PBS so not excuses!

Education is key ! Eat Organic (when or if you can) ! Buy locally grown (if and when you can) ! stop buying from the major food processing companies (if you leave in a large city, it is surprisingly easier than you think)

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